What type of containers do you use to store and carry your food and drinks?

What type of containers do you use to store and carry your food and drinks?

What type of containers so you use to store and carry your food and beverages in? Do you use single use plastic take away containers, BPA free plastic containers, stainless steel or glass? Have you even paid attention to what you use and what effect it may have on your health? 

Being mindful of what you store your food and beverages in paramount as well as choosing good quality organic whole foods. After I became aware of the health effects of using plastic containers and bottles, I started making the change over 15 years ago. I replaced all my plastic containers with glass and changed my water bottle to stainless steel.

Lets take a look at the types of containers you can use and the pros and cons of each. 

Plastic containers

  • Cheaper option to store foods.

  • BPA (Bisphenol A) and phthalates are found in many products including plastic containers, water bottles, kids toys and baby’s bottles.

  • BPA is found to be an endocrine disruptor where it can imitate the body's hormones. It has an estrogenic effect on the body.

  • Infants and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effects of BPA.

  • Exposure to BPA is widespread as shown in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older. The CDC NHANES data are considered representative of exposures in the United States. Another reason for concern, especially for parents, may be because some animal studies report effects in fetuses and newborns exposed to BPA. (Ref: Bisphenol A (BPA) - National Institute of Environmental Health Services. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm). BPA has also been found in breast milk.

  • Human health effects from BPA at low environmental exposures are unknown. However, there are also some reproductive or developmental changes observed at high doses in standard experimental animal studies. (Ref: https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/BisphenolA_BiomonitoringSummary.html)

  • For most people, the source of BPA exposure is due to people eating food or drinking beverages stored in BPA containers. This may include single use water bottles or plastic take away containers. The situation is worse when the temperature of the container or bottle is heated, e.g. if they are sitting in the sun or if heated in a microwave.

  • Young children are also being exposed due to hand-to-mouth and direct oral contact with materials containing BPA including toys.

  • BPA epoxy resins are also used in the protective linings of food cans, hence eating too many canned foods can cause health effects. Reducing your consumption of canned foods as well as finding BPA-free cans or products packaged in glass jars is the way to go.

  • There are many options for BPA-free plastic containers and water bottles however, BPS (an analog of BPA) which is used to replace BPA, has also been found to be more harmful to human health (Ref: https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/are-bpa-substitutes-any-safer-bpa).

  • Now I know there are ‘microwave safe’ plastic containers but I still don’t trust them. I also don’t trust microwaves as they damage the structure of your food but that is another story which I will tackle in a future blog.

  • Plastics pollute our environment including our oceans and the health of our sea life, as well as contribute to landfill.


Better options

1.     Glass:

  • Safer than plastic as they don’t leach any chemicals into your food and beverages.

  • Can be used to heat food in oven or microwave.

  • May be heavier in weight but safer for you in terms of no contamination from plastic toxins.

  • More fragile so just need to be extra careful.

  • Cost more than plastic containers but well worth your money as they last for many years.

  • Won’t degrade over time.

  • Can buy silicone sleeves for glass water bottles.

  • Easier to clean.

  • Don’t absorb residual flavours or odours compared to plastic containers. Plastic containers often get stained and smell of the foods that were stored in them.

  • Broken glass can be recycled which is more cost efficient than plastic.

  • Good sources include Pyrex glass storage containers, VOSS drinking water bottles.


2.     Stainless steel:

  • Non-toxic, non reactive to even acidic foods.

  • Completely safe to store foods.

  • Excellent for water bottles, thermos, school lunch boxes.

  • No chance of breakage.

  • Safe to be taken to school.

  • Do not leach chemicals into your food.

  • Durable.

  • Non-toxic.

  • Recyclable.

  • Easy to clean.

  • Lightweight.

  • Cost more than plastic containers but well worth your money as they last for many years.

  • Good sources include Kleen Kanteen water bottles, Lunch Bots containers


In summary….

Overall, the best choices are glass and stainless steel. Your health and that of your family is paramount. Our bodies already have enough to deal with including toxins in our environment and our foods being sprayed with pesticides, etc (another reason why you should always choose organic) without having to worry about the leaching of chemicals from containers into our food. Steps should be taken to avoid this for our health. 

Remember, you do not need to make lots of changes all at once. Do it step by step so that you do not get overwhelmed. Small changes one step at a time equal a big result at the end. For more information, send me a message or comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts and what you use to carry and store your foods and beverages.

Why aren't there any healthy options on kid's menus?

Why aren't there any healthy options on kid's menus?

Do you squat to poop?

Do you squat to poop?